Director Jordan Peele is no stranger to the uncanny, but his latest project, simply titled Nope, may turn out to be his weirdest yet.
Elaborating on the cryptic teaser images fans were treated to last week, Nope’s first trailer introduces actors Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer and Steven Yeun as “residents in a lonely gulch of inland California who bear witness to an uncanny and chilling discovery.”
Check it out below:
As is typical of Peele’s movies, audiences should expect to go into Nope – which is slated for release on July 22, 2022 – without a detailed idea of what they’re about to see, but this trailer does give us a slightly better idea of the film’s premise.
By the looks of things, Kaluuya and Palmer star as two ranchers (or more specifically, keepers of the only Black-owned horse training business in Hollywood) who dream of making it big in the movie industry. Just as things are looking up, though, a mysterious presence begins to spook both the animals and locals (or so it seems to us).
Prior to the release of this first trailer (and the teaser images that preceded it), we’d only been offered a cryptic, Stephen King-esque poster for Nope showing a cloud floating above a remote town. The cloud in question makes a fleeting appearance in the new footage, though we’re none the wiser as to the exact role it’ll play – perhaps as some sort of vessel for an extraterrestrial visitor?
Interestingly, there are several allusions to aliens elsewhere in Nope’s first trailer. During a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shot featuring some creepy-looking mascots for a ‘Star Lasso Experience’ (presumably the business of Yeun’s character), we also catch a glimpse of a product described as an ‘alien viewer.’
From what we can tell, it looks like this so-called experience commercializes whatever skyward phenomenon seems to be occupying the attention of various individuals in the trailer. 'Star Lasso' also implies some sort of relationship between horses and space in the movie, though it's a little too early to be delving any further down that rabbit hole.
Then, of course, there’s the moment we see Palmer’s character being whisked into the air Twister-style, as well the scene in which a baby seems to be fist-bumping a sticky-looking creature (a fairly explicit reference to E.T.).
Check out the screenshots below to decide for yourself what's going on:
All of those signs point towards Nope being Peele’s first bona fide supernatural thriller – could the title itself be an acronym for 'Not Of Planet Earth'? – though as we’ve mentioned, there’s usually no use in trying to preempt the narratives in his often deceptive movies.
Further confirmed details about Nope are few and far between, but we do know that Barbie Ferreira, Brandon Perea and Michael Wincott will also be starring in the film, while frequent Christopher Nolan collaborator Hoyte van Hoytema is on board as its cinematographer.
A Super Bowl of trailers
Of course, this year’s Super Bowl wasn’t only a showcase for Peele’s latest project.
The annual NFL event also played host to new footage from various highly-anticipated film and TV projects, including Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series, The Rings of Power, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Dwayne Johnson’s DC debut, Black Adam.
Teasers for those titles followed big entertainment announcements in the week prior, too. Disney confirmed that its Obi-Wan Kenobi series would be hitting Disney plus on May 25, while fans were also treated to the first official trailer for Jurassic World: Dominion.
Put simply, 2022 is primed to be a massive year for new movies and TV shows, and with projects like Nope and Alex Garland’s Men in the theatrical pipeline for the coming months, the horror genre, in particular, appears in rude health.
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Axel is a London-based Senior Staff Writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest movies as part of the site's daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.
Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.